Lost And Found

They had to lock the cell; procedure they said but it didn’t seem to bother him. Nothing had bothered him since the time they had brought him in. He was no trouble. He said that his name was John but no one knew whether it was or not. He was found with just the clothes he wore and no clue about his identity; no wallet, no keys, no identifying marks.  He was difficult to describe, just an average man really but he reminded them all of someone they knew; a son, a brother or a friend.

The owner of the beach shop had spotted John sat on the beach as he had opened up for the day and in the same place as he closed at night. He was lost, he told the owner who had wandered over to talk to him, but soon they would realise that he was missing and would come to collect him. The owner had warned him not to stay on the beach as there had been some muggings on the seafront that summer. John had smiled and said he was ok, that he wouldn’t be here long. Another head case thought the owner but as he made his way home, the owner felt a great unease and phoned the police. At first the PC at the station had told him not to worry, probably a student who had smoked too much dope. The owner said he knew the type but he didn’t think the man was either a student or a drug user and the officer had become more convinced. They picked him up an hour later, sat patiently twenty yards from the water’s edge. He was lost, he told them, but they were on their way.

He was calm and quiet when the policemen had asked him to come to the station with them but he had told them nothing much. He was John and he was lost so he was waiting for them on the beach. He would not say who he was waiting for. He simply repeated that he was waiting. The duty sergeant asked if they could call anyone for him but he smiled and said it was fine, they would soon be here. The sergeant gave up. John needed help but it wasn’t clear who should be called and the station was getting busier. It was Thursday night, payday and that meant trouble.

The sergeant thought carefully and told John that it was too late to do anything tonight but they would do what they could to help him in the morning. John smiled. There was no need he told them, it would be fine. He thanked them as a policeman led him to a cell. Everyone had been so kind and he would remember them. The cell door was shut and locked and the sergeant watched him on the CCTV camera sit calmly on the cell floor with his knees pulled up to his chin. He had seen many things in his time but this man was something new.

The drunk drunks, the driving drunks and the fighting drunks came through the doors of the station in equal measure that night and the sergeant had little time to think about John sat quietly in Cell 6. It was only when he glanced at the monitor that the sergeant noticed that there was no longer a picture from the CCTV camera.The cameras were always playing up or being attacked by the ‘guests’. He didn’t suppose John would’ve done anything stupid but he’d better check, just in case. He unlocked the cell door but as he opened it, felt the temperature drop. The cell was dark and empty. John was nowhere to be found.

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About Peter Domican
Marketer and change professional. Writer and photographer.

6 Responses to Lost And Found

  1. alisonwells says:

    Ha, yes! Great. This has a lovely quality to it. The rhythm of the writing is great. There is a feeling engendered somehow of wonder and stillness through the calm demenour of the man called John. I also love the feeling that there was something extraordinary about John and that life bustled on around him while there was a feeling of ‘space’, a special quality around him. Lovely lines such as ‘Everyone had been so kind and he would remember them.’ The two short last lines work really well. Loved it!! Can’t wait to read more.

  2. Louise says:

    There was a lovely ease to the reading which only happens with really good writing. Enjoyed it very much!:)

  3. Leaving so much to the imagination whilst giving us just enough…great story. Loved the line about everyone seeing something of their own brother etc in him. His ethereal calmness permeates the story which is touching and intriguing. I’m guessing he’s not from here?

  4. Steve Green says:

    This whole story has such a gentle edge to it, calm and peaceful, like John’s absolute certainty that ‘they’ would come for him.

  5. Thank you ever so much for the kind comments.

  6. Aidan Fritz says:

    Glad to see that whoever misplaced John has found him. I like how this flows.

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